gift guide 2018

Gift Guide 2018 - Photographer Edition

Photography is such a hot hobby thanks to the constantly evolving technology of smartphones and digital cameras. So this gift guide edition is giving you some ideas for the budding photographer on your list.

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#1 - Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera would be a super fun gift for any age, any level photographer lover. We all love instant gratification and they can hone their photography skills at the same time. I’m totally loving this white one, but they have a few other colors to choose from.

#2 - The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby is full of easy to understand information on how to use your camera, understanding lighting, lenses and everything else you can think of. You can start with Book One or get the whole series - either way you can’t go wrong. It’s a pretty light read and full of awesome images.

#3 - Vintage Camera Zipper Pouch from the Clickin Moms store is just a cute accessory in general. Use it as a travel bag for toiletries, a place to stash makeup or as a wallet. I think any girl 8 and up would find a way to use this super darling, stylish pouch.

#4 - Adobe Photoshop Elements 2019 was my very first foray into the world of editing. It’s great for beginners but there is enough room to grow. And the cost is way less than full blown Photoshop (although that’s awesome too). There are a lot of great guide books to learn how to use PSE, but the software itself has pretty great tutorials installed.

#5 - Camera Strap The strap that comes with your dslr is just fine, but things just feel a little better with a stylish camera strap. You can find some pretty awesome patterns at a decent price. I know I’m more likely to pick my camera up just for fun when I see something pretty staring at me. A fun simple gift that anyone would love.

#6 - Jo Totes Camera Bag there are so many great companies for purchasing a camera bag that looks more like a stylish purse or tote. Jo Totes has some of my favorites. The quality is great, they are super darling and they have some great sales a few times a year. There is a style to fit anyone! I’m eyeing this mint green one for myself.

#7 - Snap Happy Tee I think most of us are suckers for cute slogan tees. Clickin Moms has some really cute ones on their site right now. I, personally, love this Snap Happy one because the colors and wording is just cheerful.

Bonus Idea: a photography course is another great idea. You can find them for any level from beginner to pro on a number of sites. A few I love are Creative Live, The Photographers Element, and Lynda.

Happy shopping!

Gift Guide 2018 - Gifts That Give Back

I absolutely love this time of year and I especially love coming up with gifts for those I love that will be meaningful. Every year, one of the first things I do after making my list of who I want to give to, is to search for companies that are trying to be change-makers. I am fully on board with making purchases from companies who donate money or items to help make the world a better place. This year I stumbled across a few companies I had never heard of before, but who I am super excited to support.

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#1 - Cuddle and Kind became a favorite of mine last holiday season when my youngest was gifted Charlotte the Dog from her Gram. These dolls are SO darling, soft and snuggly, and heirloom quality. I fully expect my daughter to hang onto this doll and (hopefully) one day give it to her own child. Cuddle and Kind hires artisan women in Peru and provides them with sustainable, fair trade income. The company also provides 10 meals to children in need for every single doll purchased. They added a few new options this season and I cannot wait to purchase one for my other daughter!

#2 - Hand in Hand is a new find for me this year. They have lots of fun gift sets and scent options and stocking stuffers. I think these would make great gifts for teachers! The company is on a mission to increase sanitation and help provide clean water to the children of Haiti. 100% of their donations go to Haiti and they provide hand soap and repair water wells. Something I take for granted in the USA - the ability to wash my hands properly and find clean water.

#3 - BeeLove another new to me find this year. Sweet Beginnings is the founder and maker of the Bee Love products. The offer natural raw honey and products made from it. The company hires men and women returning from incarceration to develop stable work history and learn new skills as they rebuild their lives. Great stocking stuffer ideas here, too!

#4 - The Giving Keys sells handstamped, inspirational necklaces, bracelets, earrings and keychains. Through their sales they are able to hire and employ people transitioning out of homelessness. Through employment they are able to become self reliant. I just love this idea of teaching people skills that will help them be self sustainable. I am loving the Matte Black collection.

#5 - Presentlee is a mission born out of heartbreak. The family lost their daughter due to an accidental drowning. This shop came as the silver lining to their loss. They founded the Give Presentlee Foundation which donates a portion of every sale to serving or financially supporting grieving families. They also make regular donations to children’s hospitals and charities. Head on over to their shop to see all the fun things they offer. I am particularly eyeing a couple of their t-shirts.

#6 - S’well has been around for awhile, but I am always up for new water bottles and I absolutely love these ones. S’well was born out of a desire to reduce the world’s consumption of plastic water bottles (so so bad for the environment). They partner with non-profits such as UNICEF and (RED) to help provide access to clean drinking water to people around the globe. They have so many pretty designs and styles and I love that they fit easily into the cup holders in my car (not all bottles are do)! These are great gifts for anyone - I usually buy a new one for every member of my family each year.

#7 - Quietly Being Kind is another recent find, but has my whole heart. The darling postcards are drawn by Eden and packaging and shipping is done by her older brother Isaac. This sister and brother duo created these postcards to help raise awareness to stop bullying. A portion of all sales goes to charities helping children with special needs. To read more of this heartfelt story, go check out their website! I just purchased Eden’s Christmas pack for my daughter to hand out to her friends and teachers this holiday season.

#8 - Found My Animal is for all you pet owners and lovers. They sell super cute accessories for dogs and cats (and a couple horse items). Some day, when we adopt a dog, I fully intend to purchase a collar. The company promotes animal adoption and rescue by donating to various Animal Rescue organizations.

#9 - Sudara has some of the cutest pajamas, robes and lounge pants I’ve seen. I think my 12 year old will be getting a holiday pj set this year. Sudara works to provide skills and jobs for women in India who are at risk or rescued from sex trafficking. Again, nothing can compare to self reliance for building confidence and providing security. There’s something here for everyone on your list!

#10 - TOMS have been a long time favorite for my girls. I know many adults who love their shoes, as well. My youngest will definitely be getting some sparkly mary janes this year. For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. They have added new ways they give over the years and I am so impressed with their mission to make the world a better place. They have specific collections that donate to different need based organizations. Definitely worth checking them out!

#11 - Love Your Melon has the cutest keep you warm accessories. I’ve been eyeing their beanies and scarves for years now and I think this is the year I’ll finally make a purchase. The company gives 50% of all LYM sales to the LYM Fund which helps support research and care for families of children and children fighting their battle with cancer. If you’re in need of reading a heartwarming story, head to their website.

And there you have it! I know there are so many more companies out there doing amazing things. These are just a few of my favorites right now. We don’t all have the capacity to create products, but we can all participate by shopping with those who do. My hope for my own gift shopping this year is to only purchase items with a give back.

I’d love to know which company has your heart for giving back?